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Brian Latell Education. (2012) The 2012 Miami Book Fair International Brian Latell, 'Castro's Secrets.' New.




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Us 7, Cia 7, Carol 6, Cuba 6, United States 6, Bobby Kennedy 5, Baker 4, Jack Kennedy 4, Miami 4, Washington 4, Israel 3, Jane Robinson 3, D.c. 2, Fitzgerald 2, Jane 2, Nixon 2, U.s. 2, Georgetown 2, United 2, Sandy 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Brian Latell  Education.  (2012) The 2012 Miami Book  
   Fair International Brian Latell, 'Castro's Secrets.' New.  

    November 24, 2012
    7:00 - 7:30pm EST  

>> guest: he respected david gergen in terms of his abilities as a political operative and in dealing with the media, and sort of crafting an image for the public to see. but he also thought that, politics being the cynical business that it was, that gergen had been an opportunist. but he didn't fault him for that. he understood that that was all part of the game. c-span: correct me if i'm wrong, but he didn't like jim baker at all. >> guest: no, he did not. c-span: and why? and it comes through page after page. >> guest: yeah. he'd simply thought that james baker had no business in foreign policy, that he had no training in foreign policy. and he often said about people engaged in foreign policy, whether it was james baker or warren christopher, that they don't know anything and what they do know is wrong. and he also thought that baker was preventing him from giving foreign policy advice to president bush. he felt that baker resented the fact that nixon had bush's ear and baker wanted to be the sole adviser to president bush on foreign policy. c-span: what is your ultimate
goal personally? >> guest: well, i'm not quite sure. i know that i'm working on a second volume of this, and i'd like to continue observing and writing about american politics c-span: do you ever want to run for an office? >> guest: i don't rule out any option. c-span: did you learn that from richard nixon? >> guest: i did, indeed. c-span: if you ran for an office, what kind of an office, of all the ones you've seen, appeal to you? >> guest: i think an executive position, perhaps governor. c-span: here's what the book looks like. it's called "nixon off the record," and our guest has been its author, monica crowley. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you very much. ..
80 degrees, big crowds here on the campus dade this is about ten minutes. autho joining us here on the sety. is another author we want to introduce you to. this is bryan latell. co herself -- here's his book.roun. if you will start gi giving us r your background.ounciln particularly your cia background. >> i worked at cia and nationalp intelligence counsel inac washington for about thirty fivl >> what capacity? >> i became the national intelligence officer for latinee america which it a three or foua star military equivalent.on he was a civilian. it was a substantial position. i had responsibility for all of latin america and cuba.
on the an lettic side oft -- intelligence. >> what does thatno mean? >> i was not a field operative. i did not go and conductof espionage. i did not go out and be foreignl agency. most of my career at headquarter mainly virginia. i wrote national intelligencean estimates. quite a few on cuba over the >> b years, and on many of the other ca latin american countries. how >> before we get to castro and the castro regime. at how did you get interested in the work? >> i was student at georgetownes university where i later taughte for about twenty five years as , an adjunct i'm teaching now atgo the university of miami. i was attracted to the foreigner service school at georgetown. it was a timeja when a lot of us of my generation were inspired h by jack kennedy's ask not ca speech. ask not what your country for de your country but what you can do for your country.
i devoted a long time, third five yciears to national servicm >> were you recruited by the cia at georgetown.>> >> i threw myself at them. [laughter] your book called castro's secrets. if you would describe the cia o. cuba or the secret police whatever you worked with down there. >> well,, you know, i guess one of the major findings of the in book is that cuban intelligence be service beginning in the early 1960s very quickly became one of the four or five best in the world. rieling the cia, the kgb. t the israeli service to which the cuban service was modeled on ths israel service. neeng small countries at danger urgentlily needing the cubanurnt revolution like the israel government when it was formed if 1948 urge gently needing to
defend themselves the israel against their neighbors. th the cuban revolution against the united states. the eisenhower administration about kennedy administration were determined to rid cuba of castro. that was the bay of pigs in 1961, the kennedy administratioo humiliated by castro because he won. they resorted to a whole series, years of very e will elaborate >>ans and assassination plots to kill castro. kennedy did not want to in the second term if castro were -- one of the interesting questions. one of the most interesting personalities i write about in the book, a cia very senior cia officer named december monday fitzgerald, i quote does aftereh kennedy's assassination he told
people if kennedy had lived, castro would not have still been in power by 1964. fitzgerald, who was behind the most details -- most t sophisticated assassination plot to kill castro believed that. >> who was -- [inaudible] >> he was a recruited spy by th cia, ahe man who had been veryn, close to the castro's brothers. a hero of the revolution. a trained assassin and accomplished asassen. he had been recruited bid the cia after some clan dpessen meetings. he told the cia he despitedsic t to assassinate him. it was music to the earers of the cia. because the cia was underdy, tremendous pressure from the teo kennedy measures especially of
bobby kennedy to get the term of ours was to get rid of castro. he was recruitedded as a spy for the agency. he was trained in demolition in france by cia officers. he was trained in secret writing, he was -- he was their greatest hope to assassinate he castro. >> and? >> wo he turned out to be a doun agent, peter. he was working for castro all along.h the cia did not know this, the n kennedys did not know this.reasb i proved this beyond rnltd. pve i have a sources from the cuban intelligence who saw documents in havana that proved this. there are declassified cia for documents that fbi me aadded assurance that he was a double agency.hi he k knew,ill therefore, not ony that the cia was trying to kill,
castro, but that bobby kennedy i and jack kennedy were behind thm plotting. >> ask you meet with him?he >> i interviewed here in miami a few years ago. he shared some introspection with me. i asked him in particular, why did you want to meet bobby, he told the cia handle leer, who i interviewed, by the way, heed. the cia handler i want to meet with bobby kennedy. i want to hear from him that you all have the approval in this plotting against castro. that you have the approval of highest american bobby did not meet with him. but the man i mentioned earlyied mr. fitzgerald met with him in a safe house in paris.ent nt told him that he was bobby's
personal representative.ure the double agent went back and told fidel now we know for sure that bobby kennedy, no doubt speaking with the approval of his brother wants you to beremak killed. this is one of the most remarkable findings of my research. >> brie bryan what kind of the united states hadw, over the years in cuba?ythi >> it's hard say and it's difficult for me to admit toia anything specific, i'm obvious sworn to protect sources and mim methods. this book was cleared by the ci with minimal changes. c a dozen words or so, but todayan cuba, i don't think, i've been retired for 14 years, i can't say what kind of assets the cia has today targeted on cuba, but i would imagine that cuba is a lower priority than it was inher years past. a lower priority today than the obvious higher priorities.
iran, middle east, syria, north korea, china, and russia and so forth. i would imagine a considerably lower priority. eac n >> didew cuba policy wax and wae with each new administration? >> it did. the most fee roshes opposition was during the kennedy years. jack kennedy was really determined to cosomething about the cuba problem. he was obsessed. humiliated by castro at the bay of of pigs. was lyndon johnson came after kennedy, and his obsession was vietnam.pitously cuba. declined.r, subsequent presidents such as gerald ford, jimmy carter made serious efforts to acheech a, response with castro. quite the opposite what kennedy was doing.y comby has waxed and waned. it's been a different kind of priority over the fifty years e
for ten or eleven american g presidents. >> onet theerer reverse side. it did they have good assets in the u.s.? has the castro regime tried to assassinate a u.s. president. >> i continue think that -- don't think that castro had a ai directns demand the assassinatin de plotri against the american t president. mo but i do describe in the book -- some of the most startling information i aimierd one of them particular a detector whofe was the highest level most knowledgeable cuban intelligence officer to defect to the united states. he and told me that he was conve that castro knew and cuban intelligence knew in advance that lee harvey os ward was going to b shoot at jack kennedy that morning in dallas. >> bryan will latell. here is the book castro secret." the cia and cuba's intelligence it
unfortunately we ran out ofs time. you have to pick it up and read it for it's unfortunate. it's a good story. bryan, thank you for joins us on booktv here in miami. >> thank you so much. is there a non-fiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at or tweet novellest james patterson is speaking at the miami book fair. he talked about the reading program that he has personally started. we wanted to look at some of the other reading programs that are available in the united states and see what the efforts are. i want to begin with jane robinson. the chief financial officer of a group called first book. if you can describe what first book is to start? >> yes, hi, peter. i just want to say thank you to c-span for all the incredible
support you have given to the entire industry and the entire concept of reading and literacy, c-span has been a leader on that and it's wonderful just to -- [inaudible] first book is the non-profit that provides books and educational materials to programs, serving kids in need, classrooms serving kids in need across the united states. >> and how did you get started and where do you get your funding from? >> we started twenty years ago, in fact, we are celebrating our 100 millionth book distributed this week. probably while it airs it will probably have been last week. we started twenty years at martha's table in washington, d.c. we have distributed more and more as the years have gone by. because we started a newer model. especially in recent years we
distributed probably ten million or eleven million a year. we support programs across the united states now over 40,000. and our funding comes from a lot of it comes from corporate marketing campaigns that we do as well as individual donors at some foundations. but we also created a revenue-generating model which is the first marketplace. >> now, mrs. robinson. is there a special focus for first book? do you do the precoolers or do you work through classrooms or what? >> it's a great question. first book is actually built a pipeline to sport all programs serving kids in need. all classrooms serving kids in need, and reading is fundamental is a good example. we have over 1900 reading is fundamental programs supported by first book as well as over
40,000 others. so head starts, school classrooms, after school programs, mentoring, kids 0 to 18 are supported by first book. >> jane robinson mentioned reading is fundamental. we are joined by carol who is the president and ceo of reading is fundamental. give us the background, if you would, on reading is fundamental. >> well, forty-six years ago wife of mac mcnamara was in the cabinet. she went to the meeting that jackie kennedy held. it was for all spouses. she told each spouse we're each going to do something to make washington a better place for the people who live and work here every day. and mrs. mcnamara had a great reputation as a reading tutor. she tutored the wealthier children in town and she tutored
children at who were from very poor economic backgrounds. she had found one day in her tutoring how much it meant to the three boys she was tutoring of a local public school to be given a book. she had brought books that her children had years before and had been left at home, of course, and she let each of them take a book home. one of the mothers came to the school the next day to return the stolen book. they said, no, we want the child to have the book. that started a tradition of present a book to a child of i writing in the child's name if it. we do not pretended the teacher of reading. riff is here to help children particularly those most at risk of not learning to read well and on time. that usually means poor children. we are here to help them see the joy of reading first by putting
that book in their hands that they have chosen, and write the name in it, and then over recent years, we have really tried to going stress even more the parental involvement that needs to happen with that book if it's going come alive. we have undergone a transition in the last year for years old. for the last 36 years. we had a large federal book grant that was not funded in the fy12 budget. we are now doing the kinds of things we probably should have done even more of in forming collaboration with our friends at firstbook, we have always done private fundraising and we are stepping that up. >> now, do you -- the two organizations and carol, if you start, do you see see yourself
as competitors, collaborators or how? >> well, we see ourself as collaborators. we get asked that question all the time about competitors. as jane has already mentioned behave a significant number of programs that purchase their books from the marketplace that she mentioned. but we have always looked for all kinds of ways to be able to collaborate and when the federal grant went away, first book put together a wonderful proposal and came to riff with this proposal to allow us to purchase books from them in a manner that would really allow us to purchase about 250,000 or 200,000 more books than we would normally get for the same dollar spent elsewhere. we are very excited that we're going to be giving this one million books over the next several months and where this very moment starting the first
distribution of those. we're focusing as riff is doing much of our work this year out of school time. when children are out of school for the winter holiday, spring break, and summer, and we're going tied -- divide those books up among those times. riff will produce activity sheets that will go home with the books overt out-of school-time with the hope that school stressing the parents or other groups that we serve that the parent will get engaged with reading with the child in the out-of-school-time. there's a lot of excitement about the project right now. >> jane robinson? >> yes, carol is exactly right. we are collaborators in the extreme of carol is a fantastic educator and has lead the sector for a long time and not too long, carol. of course.
>> of course. >> we have, you know, first book has built a supply pipeline supports programs like reading is funneledment tal and many others who are doing fantastic work. our primary model has been to build the lo guestic that provide access for programs and classrooms serving the kids in need. one of them kyle -- [inaudible] was a great was volunteering a the table here in washington, d.c., and realized that here were heroes, local heros supporting the kids who needed the help the most in an environment that would work for
hours and hours a day. they were absolutely without resources. just a box of broken crayons. if they were beyond the reach 6 programs like riff at the time many, many were. what we realized what, we can certainly solve one part of this problem. becan build a pipeline to get great resources to them. programs like riff and others are increasingly devoted to what kind of content was on in the available to be the programs and how they use that content in the classrooms. and we consider ourselves soldiers in the same war taking on that challenge and expanding beyond what we reached so far. so we can get completely across the united states and beyond with fantastic resources. >> jane, do you work with public libraries? >> we do, we like to be sure
that we get brand new books that are chosen by the administrators and teachers. that's our primary focus. we absolutely have worked with the corporate partners to supply school libraries with brand new books. we've had multiple initiatives that focus on really replenishingly brierses and as a matter of fact right now in response to hurricane sandy's adevastation we have a website up and we're working with partners to raise funds to purchase replacements for library in the new jersey and new york area. >> carol, have you moved -- in to the e-book world at all? >> not in a big way yet. we have certainly been exploring it and we don't discourage it.
many of the schools and children we serve most have not had access to the the piece of equipment and so we have been looking at how can we promote that? very frankly in addition to wanting children to have books and get them engaged. we know the e book is a great way to do that. i don't want to look back ten years from now and say oh my goodness we let another digital divide occur. we want to make sure that the children we're serving have the opportunity to learn how to use the e-book and what it's there and what it can mean to them. we know our friends at first book are working on that kind of thing. i can't help but think in
another year or two, that will probably be a project we're doing together. >> jane you are working on e-books? >> we are. we're working on a digital platform so we can reverse boundaries of all kinds of limitations for the kids. if anyone is confused about whether there is a divide, let me reassure everyone that there's a horrible gap in this country. 42%, and that is not a misstatement. 42% of the kids in the united states are from low-income families. that means they simply adopt have the kind of access to educational resources and books that children of means have. that's a lot of kids. it's over 30 million kids. it if we're going to bridge that gap or divide or whatever you want to call it. we have to build a substantial system that can affordably get
those terrific resources to them. that doesn't mean books are going away, but it means that digital contented, digital devices and the terrific research and learning for people like the -- [inaudible] all of these resources have got to be brought to what is called the base of the economic pyramid globally. but there's a base on the economic pyramid here in the united states too. and we have got to bridge that for the kids. that's what first book aims to do as carol said. we have got a large plan to get a digital platform built and we're about to do that working hand and hand with terrific organizations like riff. >> now, carol, former first lady's barbara bush and laura bush made reading one of the signature issues when they were in the white house. do you see a difference in
support when something like that happens when it's that high profile? >> well, we certainly do. and riff was fortunate to have both of the first lady on the advisory committee up until they went in the white house when you forced to get off every committee you have ever served on. but the visibility that each brought with them to the white house whether they were still serving on any official board or committee was extremely helpful and lay both have foundations that have that continued to live. it's certainly a big help when people like that and those positions of power are helping people see that there really are children out there who do not have a single book in the home except and what we are hear most often when we talk to children of lesser economic means, you'll say do you have a book at home? and we know we're getting ready to hand them one or we would
never ask that? and the two most common things we have heard through the years. my mother has a book wrapped up in special cloth that she keeps in a drawer, and as you talk to them. , you realize it's some kind of family bible that is special and the children know that. or they will talk about that book with yellow paper. that book with yellow paper is going away. and there are no yellow pages in many communities anymore. i think it is very difficult for those of us that always had all the book we could ever have wanted whether owning them or going library frequently as i did in a small town in southern arkansas, you know, i went twice a day during the summers. there wasn't a lot else to do. i loved to read. it's hard for us to believe there are no home -- books in a home for a child. the child lives too far to ride a bike or walk to the library. fitting the library in to a
family schedule when there's little free time or perhaps no transportation, or can't afford it. that's difficult. it's, again, critical that we believe these things we're being told that these children are in need of one of the most basic things that most children get very early in life and that is books. >> jane, you have sixty second to make a pitch to somebody who may give your organization money and to a parent. what is your pitch? >> i think the pitch is believe us, there's a gap in the united states, we have got to provide a heroes who are serving kids in need with the resources they need. we're losing gene youses, peter, we are losing geniuses because they are not given the educational tool of the books they need to mike their imaginations tbroing life and
have a rich life. it's a work force issue, health care issue, it's a citizens i are issue, people won't sphroat they continue know how to read. we have to enrich from the bottom up so that kids know they have a chance and can make a new life for themselves. >> carol, what's your pitch? >> well, today we have children entering the schoolhouse doors that are already so far behind their peers with one simple set of figures i often use based on a very good study that was done a number of years ago. and we had kindergarten children entering the school from welfare families had listening vocabulary of 3,000 words. it sounds like a lot of words for a child. however children from upper middle income families had a -- listening have